Make yourself at home with window treatments

When you first move into a place, one of your first steps in nesting should be to put up window treatments. They reduce echo, make a place look cared for and lived-in, and even make your home more energy efficient.

Window Treatments
Not all window treatments have to be exclusively for privacy and blocking out the sun. Even simple sheers can add a homey feel.

Lots of rentals don’t have blinds as a standard feature, so you’ll want to put up something in a hurry for privacy on that first night, but remember that this is a temporary stopgap. Unless you’re living in a college dorm, it’s just plain tacky to use a blanket or flag as a curtain, especially when decent window treatments aren’t that expensive.

  1. Start with is blinds. If you have a pet or a child, you’ll want to stay away from corded blinds to keep your loves safe. Also, you’ll want to know the rules about whether you’re even allowed to drill into the walls and window frames to mount blinds. Chances are, it’s not allowed or you’d have to pay the maintenance man to do it. Luckily, Redi Shade has your back! They make cordless blinds that you trim, peel, and stick. Now, we are a bit skeptical as to how long they stay put and how annoying it will be to clean the glue residue off the window frame once the blinds are removed, but color us intrigued!
  2. Next: drapes. If you’re lucky, you’re renting from a place like Alvern Gardens, where each window comes with its own curtain rod. If not, you’ll need to buy those. Luckily there are sturdy temporary options. If your window frame isn’t conducive to spring-loaded rods, you can use Command hooks to mount your rod instead. Now, you’ll want to measure your window not just for fitting the rod but for finding the right size curtains. Floor-to-ceiling drapes in a heavy fabric lend luxurious drama, but you don’t want the bottoms to drag across the floor.
  3. Finally, maintenance. Now that you have blinds and drapes, you’ll want to clean them regularly. Give blinds a good dusting every week or so, and take drapes down once or twice a year to wash them. We recommend taking drapes to a laundromat with commercial sized washers and dryers to get them fully and properly clean.
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How to decorate a 2 bedroom apartment on a budget: home office

Last week was all about the master bedroom, so to spare readers the boredom of reading about a second bedroom, we’re going to share how to use that extra bedroom as a home office/guest bedroom.

The second bedroom in our 728 sq. ft. model used to be decorated as a kid’s room with child-size furniture and a Minnie Mouse poster. The curtains were white lace with teddy bears in the pattern (who knew there was such a thing as teddy bear lace!).

guest bedroom/home office
This futon’s black faux leather is just the right look for extra seating in a home office. Plus, it lets the room double as a guest bedroom.

We thought back and forth on whether we should redecorate the room into a bedroom or to transform it completely into a home office. So we compromised: throw a chic futon in a home office, and you’ve got a smart, stylish multipurpose room.

Now, “chic futon” might read as an oxymoron, but Walmart has exactly that in a variety of styles at great prices. The in-store pickup is free, so we had our personal favorite, a black faux leather number, delivered to the nearest store and picked it up at our convenience. A couple of throw pillows and an end table with a lamp make this a cozy retreat, even if you’re just taking a break from the desk across the room.

home office/guest bedroom
Alvern Gardens has plenty of space for a corner desk with a tall hutch for anyone who works from home or just likes to keep an organized home office.

For the desk, we went to IKEA, where we found something that fit our needs, budget, and style. The corner desk with its sizable hutch shows off the size of the space while also filling it comfortably. Its location directly opposite the door gives it maximum visual impact (luckily the fact that no one actually uses it means the impact isn’t one of clutter). The top of the hutch is a great shelf for displaying nicknacks and artwork without damaging walls and risking a lease violation. Once again, we decided on black-brown wood for the desk to keep the

look cohesive throughout the apartment.

If you work from home, or are otherwise in need of a 2  bedroom apartment, contact Alvern Gardens Apartments at 412-561-4663 or alverngardens@yahoo.com to ask about our current availability.